Original paper

Ice nucleation on flame soot aerosol of different organic carbon content

Möhler, Ottmar; Linke, Claudia; Saathoff, Harald; Schnaiter, Martin; Wagner, Robert; Mangold, Alexander; Krämer, Martina; Schurath, Ulrich

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 14 No. 4 (2005), p. 477 - 484

published: Sep 15, 2005

DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2005/0055

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Abstract

The aerosol chamber AIDA (Aerosol Interactions and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) was used as a moderate expansion cloud chamber to investigate the effect of the organic carbon (OC) content on the ice nucleation properties of soot aerosol particles. Two different soot samples with OC contents of 16 % (CS16) and 40 % (CS40) where produced with the CAST (Combustion Aerosol Standard) burner operated at different air/fuel (propane) ratios. In dynamic expansion experiments with about 30 %/min increase of relative humidity with respect to ice, the CS16 sample started to nucleate ice crystals at an ice saturation ratio Sin of 1.45 (at a temperature of 207 K). This value is very close to the ice saturation ratio of ice nucleation onset on carbon spark generator soot particles coated with a significant amount of sulphuric acid investigated in previous AIDA expansion experiments. A second experiment with CS40 soot performed at almost identical thermodynamic conditions showed ice nucleation onset to occur at Sin between 1.5 and 1.7. The formation rate of ice crystals was at least two orders of magnitude less than for CS16 soot, even at ice saturation ratios up to values of 1.9, which is very close to water saturation at a temperature of 207 K. Therefore, increasing the amount of OC seems to significantly suppress the ice nucleation on flame soot particles. In contrast, similar expansion experiments with dry and untreated mineral dust particles (Arizona test dust) in the temperature range 194 to 241 K showed ice nucleation to occur at much lower ice saturation ratios of only 1.05 to 1.15.